Police in parts of the UK are ignoring cannabis possession

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If you're caught in possession of cannabis in Hampshire, you're more likely to be charged than if caught in Cambridgeshire due to inconsistent policing regarding the drug across the country.

Earlier this year official police figures showed arrests for cannabis had dropped 46% in the UK, with one force that no longer targets cannabis users saying at the time their officers are now "freed up" to do "more important" work.

Now a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by The Sun has shown just one in four people caught with cannabis receive charges, while more than 40% will get off with a warning.

(ROSIE HALLAM/PA)
(ROSIE HALLAM/PA)

Kathy Gyngell, of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: "These figures show the police have given up on cannabis. It represents a total failure to protect the interests of young people. The correct sanction at the right age might just save them from a dangerous drug."

The Sun's data suggests there were 471,202 cases of cannabis possession between 2011 and 2015, with 27% being charged, 41% getting warnings and 22% receiving a caution or fixed penalty notice.

Last year, the police and crime commissioners for Derbyshire and Durham said their officers will no longer target people growing cannabis for personal use, while a number of police forces spoken to by The Sun said they "continue to uphold the law."